Friday, May 27, 2016

Artist Spotlight: Vicky Hoffman On the Perils of Encaustics

Encaustics is a mixture of resin, beeswax and colored pigments heated on a pancake griddle. Wax is immediate. It is a deliberate medium. Its workability is dependent on conditions – weather and a few seconds once lifted from the hot palette. 
Each layer must be fused with either a heat gun or a propane torch. After each application of a color or material, it must be fused to the layer below. 
Some pigments are more obedient than others. Depending how close the heat source is to the material can alter the “movement” of the materials and pigment. Zinc White has a mind of its own. It can be difficult to get a very thin, straight line and fuse it without it moving or blurring. If a propane torch is used too close to the material, it can spark or catch on fire.
Vicky Hoffman, Redlined: 8.55, 115.2E, Encaustic, 18 x 24"
True stories:

• Not long ago, I had a show in January. With the installation deadline quickly approaching, I was working in one of the coldest December months in history. The wax mixture would not melt on the pancake griddle and increasing the temperature of the griddle is not an option as the material can be flammable. It was crazy and I will never do a show in January again unless all of my work is complete by October or November.

• For one piece, I intentionally wanted burnt edges. Obviously, I did not want to burn down my studio either. An artist friend and I concocted a fusing station that was free and clear of the studio. As I fused the layer(s), she stood by with a hose to extinguish any flames if necessary. Although nothing happened, this was NOT one of my smart moments and I would not do this again nor should the reader of this blog try something as stupid as that.

• Scale. Oftentimes, I hear collectors are interested in large works. Large is defined as greater than 4 feet. Working large is physically taxing – maneuvering the panel board and fusing each layer. In addition, the panel board has to support the weight of the wax. The largest I have worked is 4 ft. x 3 ft. and there’s approximately 15 lbs of wax on that piece. Sadly, I don’t have an assistant to support with the fusing and over time, my shoulder was bearing the brunt of my fusing posture. 
Vicky Hoffman, Energized: 41.2N, 124W, Encaustic, 36 x 48"
I love the magic of this medium. I enjoy the depth and dimension I can achieve by playing around with materials. 
Vicky Hoffman, Shaken & Slipped: 35.8, 114.9W, Encaustic, 18 x 24"
Vicky's current show, Latitude & Longitude, will be at TAG through June 11.
Come meet Vicky at an Artist Panel Discussion on Saturday, June 4, 3pm.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

"In Transit" Group Show at TAG

Katie Crown, Locomotion, 37 x 30"
Coinciding with the grand opening of Santa Monica’s new Expo Line, TAG Gallery presents In Transit, a group show exploring the significance behind the process of “transition”.
Pam Douglas, The Horizon Line, Acrylic on linen, 40x20"
Dating back to its original purpose in 1875, Bergamot Station has always been a place of transit. It started as a stop and car storage area along the Independence Railroad and then for the Pacific Electric trolley system. Even after passenger service ceased, and manufacturers moved in, Bergamot has always encompassed a sense of physical progression. Although still retaining its industrial feel, Bergamot has quite literally transitioned in it’s own right, growing into the dynamic arts complex we know today.
Joan Wynn, Phantom Journey, Welded steel, 28 x 13 x 5.5"
Exploring the many facets of these changes, In Transit embodies the many stops along the way to our final destination. Whether it be a transition between jobs, locations, stages of life, or changes in relationships, as human beings we are always transforming. Transition is where we find the creative potential for that growth. It is the energy we use to travel from one place to another. It is the determination of where we end up, regardless of where we thought we were headed. Transition is a journey that can last a minute or a millennium.
Donn Delson, 532,  Archival metallic acrylic facemount, 20 x 30" Edition of 15.
Anne M Bray, Four Trucks (Grey, Red, Blue, Shadows), Digital watercolor printed on aluminum, each 7 x 5", Edition of 10
Lorraine Bubar, In Route, Papercut, 47x52"
The show runs through June 11, 2016.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Upcoming Exhibition: Vicky Hoffman, Joe Pinkelman, Tom Wheeler

Tuesday, May 17th – Saturday, June 11th, 2016

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 21st, 4 – 7PM

Artist Panel Discussion: Saturday, June 4th, 3PM 

Vicky Hoffman 
Latitude & Longitude  
Vicky Hoffman, Sacred: 34.8N, 111.7W, Encaustic, 12 x 12"
In her latest series of work entitled Latitude & Longitude, Vicky Hoffman explores the impact we have as a society on our environment, and its vastly limited natural resources. Questioning how much further we can exhaust the assets of our earth, Hoffman references ecological concerns such as drinking water, economy, population, and poverty within her work. Using simple geographical coordinates as her titles, Hoffman brings to light specific locations around the world facing such crises.

From sites as far away as Madagascar, and as close as the LA River, Hoffman’s work speaks broadly about our opportunity and responsibility to work collaboratively as a civilization to pollute less, and conserve more. Utilizing different textures, grids, and tactile materials, Hoffman provides an intimate perspective of these environmental worries. Applying mixed media and encaustic paints, Hoffman creates a veil of light, depth, and transparency to achieve an abstract atmosphere within her work.

Joe Pinkelman
Pinching China
Joe Pinkelman, Pinching China #1, Porcelain, 54 x 36 x 3"
In his latest exhibition, artist Joe Pinkelman explored the porcelain pinch pot methods of the indigenous people of Jingdezhen, China. While studying abroad last summer, Pinkelman began experimenting with the time-honored techniques of creating ceramics and using the vocabulary of traditional and ancient Chinese vessels. With a very slow and delicate process, Pinkelman was able to focus on the spiritual and ceremonial aspects of the traditional craft.

Using a customary oxblood red glaze, Pinkelman’s work draws focus to the texture, surface, and shape of each piece. The other forms in this exhibition explore Pinkelman’s continued examination of fragmented vessels, the tension created between two shapes forced together, yet seemingly pulled apart. 

Tom Wheeler
Light Lab 2016: Western Landscapes
Tom Wheeler, Cube #1, Archival pigment print, 26 x 36"
In Light Lab 2016: Western Landscapes, Tom Wheeler presents a dynamic evolution of his continuing work in night photography. His new work reaches beyond the realm of typical night photography and into something unique. Wheeler proposes that this style might be more aptly called light manipulation photography.

Wheeler’s underlying requisite methodology still holds constant, (nighttime long exposures with light-emitting tools such as flashlights, and hand-lit subjects among vast, awe-inducing, starry landscapes) while many of the images in his newest series challenge the elements of composition in traditional night photography. Moving beyond his previous approach, these new images are no longer necessarily bounded by complete starry darkness and now include “fast work” in rapidly changing pre-dawn and post-dusk light situations.

Although always a primary subject, nature itself is no longer the only cast member, as man-made intrusion and/or coexistence is introduced into his new work as a theme. A recurring subject is a lonely plastic snowman, as well as exploration with portable acrylic light rods and large glowing hand-hit Lucite boxes. Experimentation is paramount in Wheeler’s artistic process, spurring the title Light Lab 2016, as Wheeler intends to morph his style of work as he progresses. Wheeler holds the idea that there is an abundance of untapped compositional style in the world of night imagery, and thoroughly enjoys the journey and thrill of exploration in this genre of photography.

Light Lab 2016, showcases a variety of images in beautiful settings along the West Coast region of the American continents from the upper US to the bottom tip of Chile. Wheeler’s recurring styles lean toward minimalism, with vast wide-angle landscapes and tiny, yet powerfully lit up subjects, with some of his work continuing to show a somewhat quirky sense of humor.